The National Weather Service is running out of adjectives to describe the severity and impact of the flooding in Houston, Texas, and its surrounding areas.
The remnants of Hurricane Harvey (once a Category 4 storm) have dumped feet of rain on the city. And feet more are still to come. The service has called the flooding disaster “catastrophic” and “life threatening.” It’s said “the breadth and intensity of this rainfall are beyond anything experienced before,” and that “this event is unprecedented and all impacts are unknown...” It even had to readjust the color schemes on its rainfall total maps to show rainfall totals greater than 20 inches. And remember: The Weather Service is a government agency known for its sober-minded messaging and avoidance of hyperbole.
It may be hard to fathom what feet of rain — amounts equaling yearly averages falling in a few days — look like. Parts of Houston have recorded 30 or as high as 40 inches of rain so far. This is where images help. Here, collected from photo wires and social media posts, is what a catastrophic flood looks like.
Unbelievable Before & After of the flooding on Buffalo Bayou in #Houston from #Harvey. (Via streetreporter on Youtube) pic.twitter.com/a6FXIh0rtq— Matt Reagan (@ReaganMatt) August 27, 2017
View from Rosemont Pedestrian Bridge @ 9 am. Yes, this is normally a major road. #MemorialDrive #Houston #HurricaneHarvey @HoustonChron pic.twitter.com/TOWZSsMc4P— Maggie Gordon (@MagEGordon) August 27, 2017
shared with me by a friend in SW Houston... pic.twitter.com/LEacsG2o88— Marshall Shepherd (@DrShepherd2013) August 27, 2017
Flooding N Sam Houston E Pkwy sent from friend in Houston pic.twitter.com/xM4rQtRfz3— Norah O'Donnell (@NorahODonnell) August 27, 2017
Jane Rhodes is rescued from her Friendswood, TX home. ( Steve Gonzales / Houston Chronicle ) #HurricaneHarvey pic.twitter.com/VTA2g3zt5f— Steve Gonzales (@stevegonzaleshc) August 27, 2017
This man is a preacher checking for people inside cars at 610 & 288 PC Brian Roberson Jr @KPRC2 #Harvey pic.twitter.com/NJx58ZN8N8— Sara Donchey (@KPRC2Sara) August 27, 2017
20-25 residents of La Vita Bella nursing home were safely evacuated from the rising water in Dickinson, according to @GalvestonOEM. pic.twitter.com/u4HxfkELsM— ABC13 Houston (@abc13houston) August 27, 2017
Private boat owners coming from all over to help evacuate people from homes around Houston. This man has been going all day. #HoustonFlood pic.twitter.com/mofHwfdvaH— Aaron Franco (@AFrancoTX) August 27, 2017
UPDATE: Water has risen a foot in 15 min. I'm one of the last in the building. God help us. @FoxNews @CNN @weatherchannel @GaughanSurfing pic.twitter.com/ZyGQlrprDh— Blake Mathews (@KHOUBlake11) August 27, 2017
A stunning image, encapsulating #Harvey & the catastrophic flooding in #Houston. A little boy & his monkey in Dickinson.— Matt Rodewald FOX 10 (@Matt_Fox10) August 27, 2017
( - @KHOU ) pic.twitter.com/BYkysSlIWG
Holy cow. Downtown Houston. #harveyhouston pic.twitter.com/A6pqpPFROM— Rob (@rsayre) August 27, 2017